This winter, we’ve been raising funds for our vital work with unaccompanied children. The children we work with have often experienced unimaginable trauma; both in their home countries and during their journey to safety.
Part of our work involves running activities and educational classes where young people can make friends in a safe place. Refugee Council Youth Development Project Coordinator Joe Jakes reports back on the difference your donations have been making this winter.
Wednesday 16 December 2015: Gift boxes from Bloomberg
As families across the UK sat down to enjoy a meal together, or settle in to unwrapping presents or watching a Christmas film, our young people are often lonely and find this period a lot harder because they miss their parents and families.
Thanks to Bloomberg who donated Christmas gift boxes, we were able to put a smile on their faces and make Christmas a little magical to these children.
Saturday 19 December 2015: Christmas Party
We ended the year on the high by organising a Christmas party on 19th December for all our unaccompanied children.
This was not only a great day filled with fun, friendship and food; but it was also packed with games, music performance and dances from various countries. Seeing over 90 people having fun in one place was extremely humbling and we are grateful to those who’ve continued to donate—or else having such a day would have been impossible.
Friday 18 December 2015: End of year performance
I am very grateful to our partner Sound Mix who provide regular music sessions to our refugee children. The music has been a great therapy to so many young people who’ve fled from war and persecution.
On Friday 18th December, young people held a mini concert at our Croydon Office and performed in front of all staff—as a way to say thank you for all of the support they’ve received throughout the year, but also to show off their musical skills.
It was an absolute joy for me to hear their laughter and to see them being kids again, being able to play, have fun and express their feelings in a safe place.
Sunday 20 Wednesday 23 Dec 2015: Madgalen Farm, Somerset
What better way to end the year?! Some 14 children (7 girls and 7 boys) spent 4 days at Madgalen Farm in Somerset—discovering the countryside, learning about the environment and farming.
More importantly, this trip helped restore hope and dignity in these children who were driven away from their home countries. I was moved by seeing them having fun, forming friendships and building confidence.
Thanks to the Madgalen Farm who helped us secure funding for this trip which was an indispensable tool for integration and empowerment for these children to live fulfilling and active lives in their community.
Your kindness makes a real difference. Please continue to support our work in the coming year. Donate today.